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Original Investigation
May 1982

Elevation of Serum Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Level: Occurrence in Alcoholic Liver Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Veterans Administration Medical Center, Sepulveda, Calif, and the UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles.

Arch Intern Med. 1982;142(5):893-895. doi:10.1001/archinte.1982.00340180051011

Serum angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) levels were measured in 151 patients with chronic alcoholism and alcoholic liver disease. The mean serum ACE level was elevated to 30.8 ± 13 units/mL compared with 22.8 ± 6 units/mL in control subjects. Approximately 30.0% of the patients had elevated ACE levels. Abstinence from alcohol for six to 27 months by 11 patients was associated with persistently normal serum ACE levels. Angiotensin-converting enzyme level elevations did not correlate with abnormalities of other liver function test results or with any acute clinical condition associated with alcoholic cirrhosis. Hypoxemia was not present in the patients with elevated serum ACE levels. Elevations of serum ACE levels in patients with alcoholic liver disease may relate to an effect of alcohol on the hepatic-sinusoidal lining cells. This elevation could interfere with the use of this test for supporting the diagnosis of sarcoidosis.